When it comes to hitting drills, there are six basic drills that make up the framework for all the others. While you may change small details depending on what that particular drill is focusing on, they will always fall under one of these six basic categories.
The Six Basic Hitting Drills
- Dry Swings – The simplest type. Just get into stance, and swing the bat, focusing on speed and mechanics.
- Tee Drills – Hitting off the tee. The tee should be setup so that the ball is just inside your front foot after your stride.
- Soft Toss – Here you’ll have a partner setup down on one knee off to an angle on the opposite side of the field of the batter. Now loft soft toss into the hitting zone for the batter to hit out into the field.
- Flips – Setup the pitchers screen about 20 feet in front of the batter, and have your partner stand behind, flipping balls into your hitting zone from there.
- Batting Practice – Throw from behind the screen, using a normal pitching motion, showing the batter a variety of speeds and locations.
- Batting Machine – Using the batting machine, make sure not to only work one spot – move inside and outside to work all areas of the plate, and if you’ve got a machine that throws pitches other than fastballs, make sure to take advantage of that as well.
Hitting Drills Guidelines
Before we get into the hitting drills, there are a couple of things that are important to remember. Regardless of the type of hitting drills, there are 10 basic rules that you need to follow at all times. Following these basic guidelines will ensure that you have a safe, productive workout and will help you ultimately achieve your goal of becoming a better hitter.
- Concentrate –Perform the hitting drills with a purpose!
- Perform at Game Speed –Prepare yourself for game situations by practicing like it is an actual game. What’s the point in practicing at 80%?
- Be Aware of Everyones Safety – Make sure you give a heads up to anyone else is on the field, wear a helmet when appropriate and do a check of equipment to make sure it’s in proper condition.
- Don’t Overdo It – Be sure you take breaks, give your body an opportunity to rest and to avoid any bad habits that result from practicing through exhaustion.
- Maintain Control – Don’t swing or pitch wildly.
- Follow the Degree of Difficulty – Begin with an easier level of difficulty on the drill, then increase difficulty once you’ve become comfortable with the basics.
- Don’t Be Afraid to Improvise – Don’t have a certain piece of equipment for the original drill? Be creative and find something comparable to replace it with. If you have an idea on how to improve the drill to better fit your individual needs or skills, go for it!
- Target Your Weaknesses – The best way to becoming a great hitter is to find out what your weaknesses are, and make them your strengths. So ask your coach what you need to work on, and get after it!
- Use the 10-5 Approach – Complete 10 repetitions of the drill, and then follow up with five dry swings or soft toss to help transfer over the principles and mechanics of the hitting drill to your regular swing.
- Follow the 3 Keys To Success – Be consistent, follow a plan, and most important of all – Enjoy Yourself!
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